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Instagram clamps down on bullying

Instagram has exploded over the last few years. As of June, the social network was registering over 1 billion active users each month. Success for a social network, however, brings its fair share of problems. With Instagram being a social network with a relatively young user base, bullying can be a big problem. To combat this, Instagram is now implementing a new system to work alongside its regular reporting process.

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Instagram is now using machine-learning AI to detect instances of bullying and to help “spread kindness”

The normal way for bullying to come to the attention of Instagram is if it is reported by either victims or witnesses. With online bullying being a very complex issue, this often falls short, particularly in cases when victims themselves do not feel sufficiently self-empowered to act. To boost its ailing defenses against cyber-bullying, Instagram is now unleashing a new AI toolset. There are two ways Instagram will use these new tools to help stamp out bullying.

The first is using AI to spot bullying in photos posted on Instagram. Now Instagram itself will be keeping an eye out for bad behavior in photos or the captions posted with them. If Instagram detects anything that it classes as bullying, it will alert its Community Operations team to review the post in question.

The second is the expansion of its bullying comment filter. Instagram first introduced this feature a few months back to hide comments that could be bullying users from the Feed, Explore, and Profile tabs. Now, this filter is being widened to also include live videos in the Live tab. With bullying being such an insidious phenomenon, it is good to see Instagram acting to shut it down across the social network. Blocking one part and leaving another open will only push the behavior from one corner of the social network to the next. This is an important move from Instagram.

The new photo monitoring AI is being rolled out across Instagram now and will continue for the next few weeks. The Live bullying comment filter is now available on all live videos around the globe right now.

Instagram fighting cyber bullying
Instagram’s new filer is designed to help spread kindness and support to people who need it

On top of this, Instagram has also announced the introduction of what it is calling a “Kindness Camera Effect.” Launched in conjunction with teen author and anti-bullying activist, Maddie Ziegler, the new filter comes with a number of cool features. For selfies, the filter will add hearts and ask you to tag a friend you want to support. If you activate your phone’s main camera, it’ll fill the image with goodwill messages in many different languages. If you want to give the new filter a try for yourself, all you have to do is follow Maddie and you’ll be able to access it automatically.

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